Why does the Check Engine light come on?

It’s what almost every motorist has to go through once in a while: the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light. If this warning light stays on, it means that your vehicle’s computer has detected a problem that can affect your vehicle’s fuel economy and emissions.

Let’s explore your options on how to deal with it. First, shortly how it works. Your car has a main computer (in the photo) that controls the powertrain (engine and transmission). This computer is called Powertrain Control Module or PCM. It monitors signals from various sensors and adjusting engine and transmission performance for better fuel economy and lower emissions.

When the PCM detects a fault with one of the systems or sensors, it turns on the Check Engine light and stores the trouble code in its memory. There are hundreds of possible trouble codes, but some are more common than others.

To diagnose the problem, your vehicle will need to be scanned for codes first. You can take your car to a dealer or repair shop, or scan it at one of the local parts stores; some stores offer to scan your car for free, read more about repair options below.

The code itself doesn’t tell exactly which part is bad; it only points to the system that doesn’t work properly or to the sensor reading that is out of range.

For example, the trouble code P0302 means that the cylinder number 2 misfires, but it doesn’t tell why. Your mechanic will have to do further testing to find the part that is bad. Once the problem is repaired, your mechanic will reset the Check Engine light.

The repair could be costly unless it’s covered by the warranty. Is there any other way reset the Check Engine light? Is it safe to drive with the Check Engine light on? Are there cheaper repair options? Is it possible to repair the problem DIY? Drop by our workshop, we have a team of professional mechanic to assist you. Call +65 8858 8851 to schedule an appointment now.

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